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一个实业家的诞生——读巴菲特的信(8)

从投资到实业的转型

 
从70年代中期开始,巴菲特已经不仅是单纯的股票投资,他开始更多的从企业拥有者的角度思考问题,进行决策。从某种意义上讲,巴菲特更像一个精于投资的实业家。

 
在早期,巴菲特更注重买入价格和足够的安全边际。而到了这个阶段,他看重的因素是企业的经济前景,管理层,以及购买价格。前面两点在巴菲特早期的投资决策中并没有得到太多的体现。但是,他的投资方式仍然没有变,仍然是对确信度非常高的企业重仓集中投资。

 
Our equity investments are heavily concentrated in a few companies which are selected based on favorable economic characteristics, competent and honest management, and a purchase price attractive when measured against the yardstick of value to a private owner.

 
我们的股票投资重仓集中在少数几个公司。我们选择这些公司是基于有利的经济特征,有能力而且诚实的管理层,以及用私人拥有价值衡量有吸引力的购买价格。

 
When such criteria are maintained, our intention is to hold for a long time; indeed, our largest equity investment is 467,150 shares of Washington Post “B” stock with a cost of $10.6 million, which we expect to hold permanently.

 
当这些条件都满足时,我们有意长期持有。实际上,我们最大的股票投资是 46 7 1 5 十股华盛顿邮报的“ B” 股,成本为 1 千万美元。我们打算永远持有。

 

With this approach, stock market fluctuations are of little importance to us — except as they may provide buying opportunities — but business performance is of major importance. On this score we have been delighted with progress made by practically all of the companies in which we now have significant investments.

采用这种方式,股票市场的波动对我们毫无意义,只不过有时能提供买入的机会,但是业务表现对我们极为重要。在这方面,我们对所有我们有重大投资的企业的进展感到高兴。

1975年给伯克希尔·哈撒韦股东的信)


 
You will notice that our major equity holdings are relatively few. We select such investments on a long-term basis weighing the same factors as would be involved in the purchase of 100% of an operating business: (1) favorable long-term economic characteristics; (2)competent and honest management; (3) purchase price attractive when measured against the yardstick of value to a private owner; and (4)an industry with which we are familiar and whose long-term business characteristics we feel competent to judge. It is difficult to find investments meeting such a test, and that is one reason for our concentration of holdings. We simply can't find one hundred different securities that conform to our investment requirements. However, we feel quite comfortable concentrating our holdings in the much smaller number that we do identify as attractive.

 
你会注意到我们的主要股票投资个数较少。我们选择这些投资是基于长期的考虑,按照我们购买 100% 的业务的情况权衡了各种因素:( 1 )有利的长期经济特征。( 2 )有能力而且诚实的管理层。( 3 )用私人拥有价值衡量有吸引力的购买价格。( 4 )我们熟悉的行业,而且我们有能力判断其长期业务特征。但是很难找到符合条件的投资,这也是为什么我们集中持股的一个原因。我们根本无法找到 100 个不同的股票,而且都能满足我们的投资要求。但是,我们对集中投资在如此之少的几个股票感到非常舒服自在,因为这几个股票我们确认是有吸引力的。

 
1975 年给伯克希尔 · 哈撒韦股东的信)

 

We are not concerned with whether the market quickly revalues upward securities that we believe are selling at bargain prices. In fact, we prefer just the opposite since, in most years, we expect to have funds available to be a net buyer of securities. And consistent attractive purchasing is likely to prove to be of more eventual benefit to us than any selling opportunities provided by a short-term run up in stock prices to levels at which we are unwilling to continue buying.

我们不担心市场能否迅速向上重估我们坚信卖便宜了的股票。实际上,我们希望的正好相反,因为在大多数年份里,我们预期将获得资金,成为股票的净买入者。持续以诱人的价格购买,这对我们最终的益处多于任何短期股价上涨所带来的卖出机会的好处。因为如果股票上涨到一定程度,我们就不愿继续买入。

Our policy is to concentrate holdings. We try to avoid buying a little of this or that when we are only lukewarm about the business or its price. When we are convinced as to attractiveness, we believe in buying worthwhile amounts.

我们的策略是集中持股。我们避免对业务或价格只是半信半疑,却这买一点儿,那买一点儿。当我们确信一个投资是有吸引力的,我们坚信,要买就要重仓买入。

1978 年给伯克希尔 · 哈撒韦股东的信)

 
衡量公司业绩的标准

 
巴菲特在衡量公司业绩时,更多的是从一个长期拥有者的角度考虑,注重ROE,注重长期。

 
Most companies define “record” earnings as a new high in earnings per share. Since businesses customarily add from year to year to their equity base, we find nothing particularly noteworthy in a management performance combining, say, a 10% increase in equity capital and a 5% increase in earnings per share. After all, even a totally dormant savings account will produce steadily rising interest earnings each year because of compounding.

 
很多公司把“创纪录”的盈利定义为每股盈利创新高。由于企业通常年复一年的增加资本基数,我们觉得如果一个管理层的业绩包括了如 10% 的资本增加和 5% 的每股盈利增加,那么这没什么值得注意的。毕竟一个完全不动的存款帐户,由于复利的作用,每年还能产生稳定的利息收入增长。

 
Except for special cases (for example, companies with unusual debt-equity ratios or those with important assets carried at unrealistic balance sheet values), we believe a more appropriate measure of managerial economic performance to be return on equity capital.

 
除了特殊的情况(如有异常的债务 / 资本比例,或者有重要的资产以不现实的价值体现在资产负债表上),我们相信权益资本回报率是衡量管理层业绩表现的更合适指标。

 
1977 年给伯克希尔 · 哈撒韦股东的信)

 

Earnings per share” will rise constantly on a dormant savings account or on a U.S. Savings Bond bearing a fixed rate of return simply because “earnings” (the stated interest rate) are continuously plowed back and added to the capital base. Thus, even a “stopped clock” can look like a growth stock if the dividend payout ratio is low.

每股盈利”将持续稳定增长,即使是一个完全不动的存款帐户,或者固定利率的美国储蓄债券也是如此。因为“盈利”(标称利率)将持续加回到本金中。所以,如果分红率足够低,一个“不走的钟表”也能看起来像一个成长股。

The primary test of managerial economic performance is the achievement of a high earnings rate on equity capital employed (without undue leverage, accounting gimmickry, etc.) and not the achievement of consistent gains in earnings per share. In our view, many businesses would be better understood by their shareholder owners, as well as the general public, if managements and financial analysts modified the primary emphasis they place upon earnings per share, and upon yearly changes in that figure.

衡量管理层经济业绩的最主要测试就是达到在使用的权益资本之上获得高的回报率(但没有过度的杠杆,会计花招等。),而不是获得每股盈利的持续稳定增长。在我们看来,如果管理层和金融分析师能改变对每股盈利及每股盈利年度变化的重视,很多业务能被股东拥有者以及公众更好的理解。

1979 年给伯克希尔 · 哈撒韦股东的信)

In measuring long term economic performance - in contrast to yearly performance - we believe it is appropriate to recognize fully any realized capital gains or losses as well as extraordinary items, and also to utilize financial statements presenting equity securities at market value. Such capital gains or losses, either realized or unrealized, are fully as important to shareholders over a period of years as earnings realized in a more routine manner through operations; it is just that their impact is often extremely capricious in the short run, a characteristic that makes them inappropriate as an indicator of single year managerial performance.

在衡量长期经济表现时,与年度业绩不同,我们相信把所有实现的资本增值/损失,以及特殊项目进行确认,并且用目前的市场价值体现财务报表中股票的价值是合适的。这些资本增值/损失,无论实现的还是未实现的,与日常运营中实现的盈利一样,在多年的时间里,对股东都具有同样重要的价值。只不过在短期内,这些资本增值/损失的影响极为多变,这让它们不适合作为某一年管理层业绩的指标。

1979 年给伯克希尔 · 哈撒韦股东的信)

As we have noted, we evaluate single-year corporate performance by comparing operating earnings to shareholders’ equity with securities valued at cost. Our long-term yardstick of performance, however, includes all capital gains or losses, realized or unrealized. We continue to achieve a long-term return on equity that considerably exceeds the average of our yearly returns. The major factor causing this pleasant result is a simple one: the retained earnings of those non-controlled holdings we discussed earlier have been translated into gains in market value.

正如我们提到的,我们衡量某一年的企业业绩是用运营利润比上按成本估值的股东权益。但是我们长期的业绩衡量指标包括了所有的资本增值/损失,无论是实现的还是未实现的。我们不断取得显著超过年度平均回报的长期资本回报率。造成这个良好结果的主要的因素在于一个简单的事实:我们前面所讨论的非控股公司的存留收益已经转化为市场价值的增长。

Of course, this translation of retained earnings into market price appreciation is highly uneven (it goes in reverse some years), unpredictable as to timing, and unlikely to materialize on a precise dollar-for-dollar basis. And a silly purchase price for a block of stock in a corporation can negate the effects of a decade of earnings retention by that corporation. But when purchase prices are sensible, some long-term market recognition of the accumulation of retained earnings almost certainly will occur. Periodically you even will receive some frosting on the cake, with market appreciation far exceeding post-purchase retained earnings.

当然,这种将存留收益转化为市场价格上涨的过程是高度不平均的(有时候方向甚至是相反的),在时间上无法预测,无法精确按照一美元兑一美元来实现。而且一个荒谬的股票购买价格能抵消企业10年的存留收益的效果。但是,当购买价格合理时,对存留收益积累的一定程度的长期市场确认几乎肯定会发生。

1980 年给伯克希尔 · 哈撒韦股东的信)
买股票如同买整个业务

 
“买股票如同买整个业务”,这是巴菲特重要的投资哲学,也体现了他从一个纯粹的股票投资者向实业家,企业拥有者的转变。

 
Most of our large stock positions are going to be held for many years and the scorecard on our investment decisions will be provided by business results over that period, and not by prices on any given day. Just as it would be foolish to focus unduly on short-term prospects when acquiring an entire company, we think it equally unsound to become mesmerized by prospective near term earnings or recent trends in earnings when purchasing small pieces of a company;i.e., marketable common stocks.

 
我们将长期持有大多数的重大股票投资。因此衡量我们投资决策的记分卡将会是那段时期的业务表现,而不是任何一天的股价。这就如同并购一整个公司时过分关注短期前景是愚蠢的。同样,我们认为在购买一个公司的一小部分时(即购买股票时),痴迷于近期盈利前景或者最近的盈利趋势,这也是不明智的。

 
1977 年给伯克希尔 · 哈撒韦股东的信)

 
We select our marketable equity securities in much the same way we would evaluate a business for acquisition in its entirety. We want the business to be (1) one that we can understand, (2) with favorable long-term prospects, (3) operated by honest and competent people, and (4) available at a very attractive price. We ordinarily make no attempt to buy equities for anticipated favorable stock price behavior in the short term. In fact, if their business experience continues to satisfy us, we welcome lower market prices of stocks we own as an opportunity to acquire even more of a good thing at a better price.

 
当选择购买股票时,我们用非常类似于评估并购整个业务的方法来进行。我们想要的业务是( 1 )我们能懂的。( 2 )有利的长期前景。( 3 )由诚实而且有能力的人运营。( 4 )可以用非常诱人的价格获得。我们一般不因为预期的短期股价的良好表现而购买股票。实际上,如果公司的业务持续让我们满意,对拥有的股票,我们欢迎更低的市场价格,我们把这看成是用更好的价格购买更多的好东西。

 
Our experience has been that pro-rata portions of truly outstanding businesses sometimes sell in the securities markets at very large discounts from the prices they would command in negotiated transactions involving entire companies. Consequently, bargains in business ownership, which simply are not available directly through corporate acquisition, can be obtained indirectly through stock ownership. When prices are appropriate, we are willing to take very large positions in selected companies, not with any intention of taking control and not foreseeing sell-out or merger, but with the expectation that excellent business results by corporations will translate over the long term into correspondingly excellent market value and dividend results for owners, minority as well as majority.

 
我们的经验表明,相对于谈判并购整个公司的交易价格,真正优秀的业务的一部分有时会在股票市场有很大的折价。因此,在拥有实业方面,便宜货在企业并购中根本不能直接获得,但却可以通过股票所有权间接获得。当价格合适的时候,我们愿意买入精心挑选的一些公司很多的股份。我们无意控制公司,或者寻求整体出售及合并。但是我们预期公司优异的业绩将在长期转化为给拥有者的出色的市场价值和股息,无论拥有者是少数股东还是大股东。

 
1977 年给伯克希尔 · 哈撒韦股东的信)

 
Whatever the appellation, we are delighted with our GEICO holding which, as noted, cost us $47 million. To buy a similar $20 million of earning power in a business with first-class economic characteristics and bright prospects would cost a minimum of $200 million (much more in some industries) if it had to be accomplished through negotiated purchase of an entire company.

 
无论怎么说,我们都对 GEICO 的持股感到满意。这耗费了我们 4 7 百万美元。但如果谈判并购整个公司,要买一个类似的有 2 千万美元盈利能力的第一流经济特征和光明前景的企业,至少要耗资 2 亿美金(在某些行业要多得多)。

 
1980 年给伯克希尔 · 哈撒韦股东的信)

 
Since See’s was purchased by Blue Chip Stamps at the beginning of 1972, pre-tax operating earnings have grown from $4.2 million to $12.6 million with little additional capital investment. See’s achieved this record while operating in an industry experiencing practically no unit growth.

 
喜诗巧克力公司是由 Blue Chip Stamps 公司在 1972 年初购买的。其税前运营利润从 4 百二十万美元增长到了 1 2 6 十万美元,而仅有非常少的额外资本投入。喜诗巧克力在一个正在经历着毫无数量增长的行业取得了如此的业绩。

 
1977 年给伯克希尔 · 哈撒韦股东的信)



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